Muppet Babies was an adorable animated series from the '80s, which capitalized on the popularity of the Muppets. The show depicted most of these fan favorite characters as children living together in a nursery. In addition to earning high regard for both its cuteness and genuine fun, the series has held onto a lot of nostalgic charm over the years since it ended. So of course, why not see it brought back to life?
In an age where so many movies and television shows get reboots, it is somewhat impressive that not many of the popular shows made for children have been brought back to life on the small screen (as opposed to the occasional big budget film versions). Muppet Babies will indeed be brought back to TV as an all-new TV series produced by Disney Junior.
Slated to premiere in 2018, this revival of Muppet Babies will be a computer-animated TV show. Like the original, the series will be geared toward children ages 4-7, featuring two 11-minute adventures per episode. The show will be a co-production between The Muppets Studio, Disney Junior, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media’s Content & Media group. The 7D's Tom Warburton will be executive producer on the series and SpongeBob SquarePants' Eric Shaw will be serving as story editor.
In discussing her excitement for this revival, Nancy Kanter, executive vice president, original programming and general manager at Disney Junior Worldwide, had this to say:
“We are proud, and a little bit giddy, to begin production on our new version of the much-loved ‘Muppet Babies.' Parents will delight in seeing their favorite Muppets in the mixed animation style they remember from the original series, and kids will be introduced to this warm and zany world made just right for the Disney Junior audience.”
Vice president of The Muppets Studio, Debbie McClellan, had this to add in her expression of joy in this news:
“Bringing ‘Muppet Babies’ to Disney Junior is a wonderful opportunity to reach a new generation of viewers and to creatively build on the innovative original series. We hope to engage and delight the nostalgic fans while also entertaining new kids, parents and diverse audiences through heart and humor as only the Muppets can deliver.”
Playing as a Saturday morning cartoon on CBS from 1984 to 1991, the original handdrawn series lasted 107 episodes and won seven Daytime Emmy Awards. The series featured 100 original songs and told stories focused around the power of imagination. It also made for delightful weekly doses of watching toddler versions of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Scooter, Skeeter, Rowlf the Dog, and Gonzo, among others.
The important thing to keep in mind is how this new Muppet Babies, while ideally capturing the attention of adults who grew up watching this series and providing them with some fond memories, is not actually for them. It is for their children and the many children who will hopefully get plenty of joy out of this new take on a cute premise. Sure, it will be CGI, as opposed to handdrawn, and perhaps lose some of the value audiences from that time found in the original version, but hopefully the same spirit will be captured - as opposed to another recent attempt at making The Muppets work. At the very least, everyone can just hope it features the classic Muppet Babies theme song.
The new Muppet Babies TV show is slated to arrive sometime in 2018.
Source: Disney Junior Worldwide [via Variety]